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Nissan launches 2WD X-Trail at under $28K

Priced to please: Nissan's new two-wheel-drive X-Trail opens at $27,990 driveaway.

Price slash for front-drive Nissan X-Trail even before it hits the showrooms

24 Dec 2010

NISSAN will launch its new, more affordable two-wheel-drive version of its X-Trail compact SUV with an aggressive $27,990 driveaway introductory price from January 1, effectively undercutting the official list price of the cheapest all-wheel-drive X-Trail model by thousands of dollars.

Powered by the 2.0-litre 102kW/198Nm four-cylinder engine from the smaller Dualis in place of the 2.5-litre 125kW engine of the AWD X-Trail, the front-drive X-Trail becomes the cheapest Japanese crossover vehicle in its class, beaten only by entries from Korean manufacturers such as Hyundai and Kia.

However, direct 2WD rivals such as the $28,990 Mitsubishi Outlander and $28,990 Toyota RAV4 are armed with bigger, more powerful 2.4-litre engines.

The standard list price for the entry-level Nissan X-Trail ST 2WD manual is $28,490 (CVT auto $2500 extra), with the ST-L variant – with standard CVT automatic transmission – priced at $34,490.

However, Nissan has decided to go straight for the jugular, slashing its own price for the ST base model almost before stocks arrive in showrooms.

 center imageLeft: Nissan Dualis+2.

The cheapest all-wheel-drive model, the ST 4WD, has a list price of $32,490, which when statutory and other on-roads charges are added, theoretically lifts the price to about $35,000 – $7000 more than the introductory driveaway price for the 2WD version.

Nissan’s decision to add two-wheel drive variants to the X-Trail range follows its own success with the format in the smaller Dualis, which has enjoyed a massive 212 per cent increase in sales volume this year, mainly due to the appeal of the cheaper 2WD models.

The move also brings X-Trail into line with many of the other major players in the compact SUV segment, where 2WD is a must-have option.

The Nissan X-Trail ST not only comes with an impressive starting price but also a long list of standard features, including 17-inch alloy wheels, side airbags, roof curtain airbags, Bluetooth handsfree phone system, MP3 player input, six-stack CD changer, steering-wheel mounted audio, phone and cruise controls, as well as heated and cooled glove box.

The auto-only Nissan X-Trail ST-L 2WD adds leather seat trim, electrically adjustable and heated front seats, rear cargo blind, privacy glass, climate control air-conditioning and front fog lights.

Thanks to the smaller engine and lighter drivetrain, the 2WD X-Trail models use less fuel than their petrol-powered 4WD counterparts. According to Nissan figures, the front-drive X-Trail consumes 8.5-litres per 100km in manual form and 8.4L/100km with the CVT auto in the official combined fuel cycle test, compared with 9.1L/100km for the 2.5-litre AWD X-Trail models in both manual and CVT formats.

However, diesel 4WD X-Trails are still less thirsty, drinking 7.2L/100km as a manual and 7.4L/100km as an auto.

While the 2WD ST base model has been launched at a hot price, the price of the 4WD ST has gone up by $500, but it gets more standard equipment, including 17-inch alloy wheels previously available only on the ST-L and TS models, chrome door handles leather-trimmed steering wheel and park brake lever.

The latest X-Trail update follows hard on the heels of a facelifted range launched in September when prices were cut by up to $1750 and fuel-consumption of both the petrol and diesel engines was cut by almost a litre per 100km.

From January, 4WD X-Trails will be differentiated from their 2WD brethren by a chrome ‘4WD’ badge, and the new range will be launched with a publicity blitz under the slogan “Wanna Live.”

Nissan Australia CEO Dan Thompson said the new 2WD X-Trail gave Nissan the firepower to make a significant impact in the increasingly popular compact SUV segment.

“We are confident that our specification advantage, combined with a dynamite $27,990 driveaway launch price position will vault the Nissan X-Trail to the top of the shopping list for couples and families in the market for a practical and flexible vehicle of this type,” he said.

“We are sending a strong message to the market that we are serious about improving our market share and sales position still further in 2011.

“The Nissan X-Trail has been a popular choice for outdoors and active customers for the past decade and now it’s the best value Nissan X-Trail ever.

“Throughout 2010 we have improved the offer to customers across our wide range of SUV products. We have upgraded Dualis, added the Dualis+2, improved Pathfinder (and Navara) with two more powerful turbo-diesel engines and additional specification, and added equipment to Murano.

“Nissan now is the most competitive player in the market, with four complementary SUV model lines with which to tempt the widest possible range of customers.”

To the end of November, Nissan sales in Australia were up 19.5 per cent in a total market up 11.8 per cent.

The X-Trail – boosted by the arrival of more affordable, less thirsty models in the final quarter of the year – is up 23.6 per cent in a market segment up 34.9 per cent.

Between the Dualis and the X-Trail, Nissan hold a 14.3 per cent share of the compact SUV segment, compared with its overall market share of 6.0 per cent.

Nissan X-Trail range pricing
ST 2WD $28,490
ST 2WD (a) $30,990
ST-L 2WD (a) $34,990
ST 4WD $32,490
ST 4WD (a) $34,990
ST-L 4WD (a) $38,490
Ti 4WD (a) $44,490
TS 4WD $35,990
TS 4WD (a) $38,240
TL 4WD $42,990
TL 4WD (a) $45,240

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